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Knuckles 3 (Archie Mini-Series)

From Sonic Retro

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Sonic's Friendly Nemesis Knuckles #3
"Knuckles"

Writer: Mike Kanterovich/Ken Penders
Pencils: Art Mawhinney, Harvo,
Mindy Eisman, Kyle Hunter,
Freddy Mendez and Victor Gorelick
Cover Art by: Patrick Spaziante/Harvo
Release Date: September 1996
Country: North America

Knuckles 3 is the third issue of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series Knuckles miniseries, the last of three parts. It was released in September 1996.

Rites of Passage, Part 3

Continued from Knuckles 2.
Mobius contains numerous wonders, including the mysterious Floating Island, containing the Chaos Emeralds. These Emeralds are protected by Knuckles the Echidna, who comes from a long line of Echidna guardians. The Echidna culture, once a technologically sophisticated society, has since disappeared, replaced by wilderness in the Floating Island, all that remains of their group.
Dimitri, the all-powerful echidna from history, has returned as Enerjak. Now on a journey with Archimedes to stop Enerjak, Knuckles and his new companion must face off against the Chaotix, who have been brainwashed by Enerjak.

It's 2 against 4 as Knuckles and Archimedes prepare to face off against the brainwashed Chaotix. Despite the overwhelming odds, Archimedes develops a plan. He tells Knuckles to wait for his signal, then fires a huge breath of fire, separating the Chaotix before they can attack. Vector runs for the wall and smashes a glass container, bringing out a water hose. He prepares to douse the fire ant, but can't find him or Knuckles, as they have disappeared, leaving a cloud of fog behind. Archimedes, using his magic skills, taunts the Chaotix, confusing them. In a quick motion, Knuckles appears and punches Espio in surprise. He then turns toward Mighty and takes him out with a flurry of punches. Lastly, he knocks Vector down with a great punch. Charmy, meanwhile, is dealt with by Archimedes' fire breath.

Enerjak watches the battle with his powers, realizing that his brainwashed minions can't do their job. He takes matters into his own hands, sending Knuckles and Archimedes into a deep sleep, even while in a completely other area than them. As they fall onto the ground asleep, Enerjak orders the Chaotix to bring them to him.

Still unconscious, Knuckles and Archimedes are brought before Enerjak. He recalls the circumstances that have brought him to meeting the distant relatives of those who were against him. He remembers the great idea he and his brother Edmund had developed to bring the Floating Island back to Mobius, via the Chaos Syphon. Although the echidnas objected against the use of it, along with Edmund, Dimitri had taken it upon himself to use it, and ended up absorbing the power of 11 Chaos Emeralds. The fire ants had ruined his plans, as he was buried by his own creation, Mount Fate. Over the generations, he laid in darkness, until today, when he has prepared to conquer the word.

Knuckles and Archimedes wake up, as Enerjak mentions his amazement at them making it through the Sandopolis Zone. Knuckles quickly develops a plan, telling Enerjak that he and Archimedes are mirages, a part of his delusional state. While in the middle of their ruse, Knuckles realizes that Enerjak is not aware of oasis they found in the desert. Enerjak doesn't fall for the trick, knocking the two aside and showing off the power he wields. He shows off a sphere of energy in his hand, mentioning that his power has created the new tower they are in, one that cannot be knocked down like Mount Fate. Knuckles gets up and notes that history could well repeat itself, as he nudges Archimedes. Archimedes, meanwhile, takes off his hat and, using his antennae, contacts all the fire ants on the island.

Enerjak, now really annoyed, knocks the two aside again, but with greater force than before. Despite the attack, Knuckles shrugs it off, further angering Enerjak. Meanwhile, the fire ants on the island respond to Archimedes' call, traversing the desert to their location, seeing the city on the horizon. Enerjak prepares one final attack on the duo, but Archimedes has something up his sleeve. Just as Enerjak prepares to attack, Archimedes lets off another cloud of smoke. Not amused, Enerjak uses his power to get rid of the smoke, but can't find Knuckles or Archimedes anywhere. The fire ants, on the other hand, have reached the city en masse.

In a room in the tower, the Chaotix are playing cards. Enerjak calls them up and orders them to locate the now missing Knuckles and Archimedes. They respond and run down a hall to investigate, running right past the two who are invisible due to Archimedes' magic tricks. Now free from Enerjak, they prepare their next plan, while the fire ants march through the city. Archimedes performs another trick, transporting the two into an air duct above Enerjak's room. Realizing that his magic tricks work against Enerjak, he feels the need to start a counterstrike. They prepare their attack as the fire ants climb up Enerjak's tower.

The two start their attack, slamming down on the air vent, sending them flying down on Enerjak and knocking him to the ground. It doesn't take him long to recover, as he knocks the vent and the two off of his back. Disappointed by the attack, he scolds Knuckles. This angers Knuckles, who calls Enerjak 'Great Uncle Dimitri'. Now a changed echidna, Knuckles proclaims that Dimitri has been the only echidna to put himself over anybody else, and that he has only become what he is because of Dimitri. Enerjak becomes further enraged, jumping at Knuckles and proclaiming that Knuckles has only become what he is because of Edmund and the echidna council. Despite his strength, all of Enerjak's punches miss Knuckles. As the fire ants start toying with the tower, Knuckles calls out to Dimitri, asking him if courage is only the enhanced strength that he has.

Using his strength, he runs at Knuckles and is able to get a head-bang in, and grabs a hold of him. Knuckles tries to punch him, but can't damage Enerjak. Him, in the meantime, has no problem hurting Knuckles but slamming his fists into his sides. Attachments on the tower, rockets on the top-portion, are activated while the fire ants do their work. Knuckles gets another hit in, kicking Enerjak in the face and getting free of him, while proclaiming that it is pride and honor that he works by. He lands on the ground as the tower rumbles, lifting off and detaching from the base. The floor portion that Knuckles and Archimedes are on detaches from the structure, leaving Enerjak in the tower by himself, giving the two the ability to escape.

Knuckles jumps off the floor piece, with Archimedes on his back, and starts to glide to safety. He reaches the ground with a soft landing, surrounded by the fire ants that helped them, as Enerjak's tower drifts off into space. Knuckles helps Archimedes down, who thanks the other fire ants for responding to his call. One of the fire ants comes up to him, stating that they had only helped to make an escape route and had nothing to do with activating the rockets on the tower. As Archimedes wonders who actually started the rockets up, Knuckles looks on as the city Enerjak created vanishes back into the ground. With Enerjak gone, the group find the Chaotix, now free from his control, but in a very disoriented state. It doesn't take them long to get back to normal, as they see Knuckles, congratulating him on his victory over Enerjak.

Knuckles' feels he can't take all the credit, as he used a combination of things to help him, including the stories his father told him, Archimedes' stories and Enerjak's as well. As they all walk along the desert, Knuckles notes the assistance from the fire ants as well. He also realizes that he used to work independently, but, learning from history and Enerjak's errors, he figured that he had to changed his ways. The one thing that still confused Archimedes, on the other hand, is the mystery of the oasis that he and Knuckles found on their way to the city. The Chaotix shrug off the mystery, wanting to celebrate their victory.

From another location, in a room filled with computer monitors, an echidna watches the group celebrate, proud of Knuckles' ability to distract Enerjak so he could start the rockets on the tower. He is also proud that Knuckles' has learned through his history, and adapted Archimedes as an ally, continuing the relationship that has passed down between the echidnas and fire ants for generations. He leaves the room, noting that he will keep watch...noting that it is a father's duty to watch over his son.


Sometime later, Knuckles relaxes with Archimedes. Archimedes notes his amazement at Knuckles' training for his more advanced responsibilities, going beyond what he thought of the echidna initially. He officially tells Knuckles that he feels that can meet the tasks for being guardian of the Floating Island, but doesn't want that to get to his head. Knuckles is happy at the comment, telling Archimedes that he's a good guy himself. They slap hands, proclaiming their friendship, as the Floating Island drifts off into the sunset.

Background Information

  • Locke is shown for the first time in person, and not in thought.
  • Enerjak will not appear again until the Knuckles the Echidna series.
  • This ends a story arc that started in Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Triple Trouble, Knuckles' Chaotix, this mini-series and 6 issues of the main Sonic the Hedgehog series (issue 31 - 36).
  • A map of Enerjak's citadel is shown after the story. Two areas are noted as recreational areas, where one is clearly a mechanical area, likely signifying an editing error.
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